Disquiet Junto Project 0522: Just Backdated

Instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. Also, as an experiment, I set it to autopost at disquiet.com/0522 at 12:30am Pacific (on December 30), and to auto-tweet at twitter.com/disquiet at 1am Pacific (also December 30). Both those functioned as hoped. This has been an experiment in getting the posts out earlier. I may switch email list providers (likely to MailChimp), so as to automate those, too. And now, on to the final Disquiet Junto project of 2021:

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, January 3, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0522: Just Backdated
The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments.

As is the tradition at the end of each calendar year, this week’s project is a sound journal, a selective audio history of your past twelve months.

Step 1: You will select a different audio element to represent each of the past 12 months of 2021 – or you might opt for even more elements, choosing a segment for each week, or each day, for example. These audio elements will most likely be of music that you have yourself composed and recorded, but they might also consist of phone messages, field recordings, or other source material. These items should be somehow personal in nature, suitable to the autobiographical intention of the project; they should be of your own making, your own devising, and not drawn from third-party sources.

Step 2: You will then select one segment from each of these (most likely) dozen audio elements. If you’re doing a dozen items, one for each month, then five-second segments are recommended, for a total of one minute. Ultimately, though, the length of the segments and of the overall finished track are up to you.

Step 3: Then you will stitch these segments together in chronological order to form one single track. There should be no overlap or gap between segments; they should simply proceed from one to the next.

Step 4: In the notes field accompanying the track, identify each of the audio segments.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0522” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0522” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, January 3, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0522” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 522nd weekly Disquiet Junto project – Just Backdated (The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments) – at: https://disquiet.com/0522/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0522-just-backdated/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to marc@disquiet.com for Slack inclusion.


The project is now live, though if you have disquiet.com in your RSS reader or if you follow twitter.com/disquiet, you likely learned about the details eight or so hours ago.


So here is 5 seconds of every month this year. Weird how some of it blends nicely into the next bit.

Here are the songs in order:

  1. january2
  2. tern
  3. potemkin odessa steps
  4. guitar test3
  5. joust4
  6. speak
  7. glacial
  8. tell it
  9. rent controlled
  10. shoreline
  11. descent
  12. unreal

Thanks to all who listened, liked, commented and gave feedback on my (disquiet) tracks in 2021. Special thanks to all participants in the Disquiet Junto and of course Marc Weidenbaum.


This project allowed me to look back at my compositional productivity in 2021 - wow - there is so much - and it is all so different - from drones and Ambient to techno and field recordings. What I learned from this is that my ear indeed centres on very specific tonalities making it relatively easy to stitch these together:
Chord Lines
Enigma Piercer 2
Under the ice, the water still flows
His Soul Left by His Own Hands
I waited Until the Very End
Nordic Forest (alto Glock part)
Everything has a history (Alban Berg remix)
Gloomy Plateau
Pungent 2
On the Subject of Reality
The Best Advice I ever Got
There is a Theory That This Has Happened Before
The Faun (Subgongs and Voice)
Disappearing Words (Mvt. III)
The Last Time Tony Bennett Remembered Lady Gaga’s Name
Under the ice, the water still flows (Glacier Broke remix)
drifting slowly towards infinity
Soo Birds
(and there was much more in my catalogue this year - including 2 CD releases and another in the pipeline)


I fully intended to write 12 short pieces, however, after I had two of them done, they already totaled a bit more than a minute. Honestly, I can’t remember each month of the last year individually. I know there were two main transitions in my life this year, though. In February, I quit a job I disliked and got a new job I liked. And, starting in October, we had to start going into the office for part of the week.

The first part of this piece reflects working at home. It is relaxed and spacious, yet melancholy. The second part reflects going into the office. It’s more agitated. I kind of came up with these explanations after the fact, but they’re still mostly true.


January: Analog Funk
February: Korg Triton Jam - A voice memo
March: Digital Funk - Used the March 6th mix rather than the March 10th mix for variety
April: Drainage - A voice memo with added delay
May: Strumstick Jam
June: Chirpbrook Creek
July: In the Library
August: Bot Throat - My very first Disquiet submission
September: Where Did it Go? (Emergency Mix)
October: Ride Cymbal Ruckus
November: Afternoon Appointment
December: Wind Chime Solo


I’m bad at following instructions

I started out with twelve unrelated pieces glued together but found the result ghastly. So instead, I decided to make a short, ~1 minute-long, cohesive piece that represented how I felt about 2021. Kind of like what I did last year for #disquiet0470.

In the end, the dreamy pad took over the piece so it turned out quite differently to that, too. The result is unexpectedly somehow reminiscent of Paul Bley. Curious. I don’t think I either listened or played any of his work this year.

But the spirit of the assignment is still there

121 BPM as a way to reference 2021. Synth is Polyend Medusa’s FM. Bass is Moog Mother 32 sequenced by some Python code I wrote. Drums are Ableton’s Session Drums Club finger-drummed with an old Novation Launchpad Pro.

The bassline goes through 12 notes of the well-tempered tuning, starting with C# and proceeding always in fourths. Sometimes switching up octaves to keep things interesting. This repeats three times for a runtime of 1:20.

It was a strange year

This year I walked more. This year I added FM synthesis to Polyend Medusa. This year I saw the sea, and I hiked two separate mountain ranges. This year my son started practicing drums. This year some events I wanted to attend got cancelled last minute. This year I got invited to speak at a live conference in the Netherlands, also last minute. I feel like I’m still waiting for things to return to how they were before.


I always love this end-of-the-year project and have participated in it (I believe) every year since Junto started. Even though it’s my sometimes my only contribution all year, I think it’s a great way to reflect on the year.

Some background:
2021 was another year filled with trailer sound effects and composing for music libraries. I finished a certificate program for film composition at Berklee Online, and wrote a lot of music in association with that. I also completed a hip-hop album (as producer) and began the early stages of a few other hip-hop and pop-related projects. The 30 snippets included here are representative of the entirety of my musical work this year, with each month taking up approximately five seconds of the whole.

Jan: Elegance / Snow Through the Hourglass
Feb: Smoked-Out Noir / Games
Mar: Subconscious Messages
Apr: The Cold
May: Evasion / Petri Dish / Under Deep Suspicion / AW’s Birthday
Jun: Altaire Demo / Nightdust / From the Blackness
Jul: Enmasse
Aug: Anatolia
Sep: In C (Junto 507) / Truest Deception
Oct: Feels Like Heaven / Glistener / Arlo Bleach
Nov: Muzzle Ltd / You’re Not Gonna Be A Number / Exit Chamber / Oregon Beats / Jon Brion Type Beat
Dec: Supernova / Recomposer / I Can’t Waste You / EDM Trial / The Making Of


It’s been a year, huh? I can’t add anything for months Jan, Feb, March and October, unfortunately.

January: none
February: none
March: none
April: Blum Plossom
May: Boonmeam
June: Cave Water Drops
July: Dull Summer Mood
August: We Wake Up
September: Heu Riecht
October: none
November: Zugvögel
December: Coming Around

Almost all of those tracks are made for the Naviar Haiku challenge. I picked the ones I liked the most.


The playlist is now rolling.


First year that I’ve been doing the Disquiet Junto from time to time. I’ve been enjoying it a lot, both the creation of tracks, and listening to what others have made.
This weeks prompt was (again) wonderful. I would never have listened to the stuff I made in the past year, at least not in this way. Really nice way to spend the last day of the year given lockdown, etc.
(not all fragments are as super-brief as they could be; I tried to create some sort of flow for the whole thing. Hope you’ll forgive me)

Thank you @disquiet, and thanks to all who contribute!!

0:00 January (pt 1)
0:07 January (pt 2)
0:22 February
0:30 March
0:47 April
0:57 May (pt 1)
1:13 May (pt 2)
1:23 June
1:31 July
1:38 August
1:43 September
1:50 October
2:09 November
2:22 December


I used what I had uploaded to freesound (again).
Starting with january. 8 sec per month.
Happy New Year to you all!


Spotify public playlist of all 12 tracks in full at: Spotify

It’s a sampling of a small percentage of the recordings that I released throughout 2021 in a chronological order.

  1. Drifting Buddhas by Calmer Feeling
  2. Zurich to Austin by Rod Rios
  3. Marimbake by My Love Underwater
  4. Going Up by Rushton
  5. Repair the Web of Time by Mark Rushton
  6. Sleep of Dreams by Mark Rushton
  7. Recovery by Ambient Matyk
  8. Mystery Location Chillgroove by Tanpura Express
  9. Troublesome by Vibrating Wires
  10. Rudbeckia Hirta by Rushton
  11. Wavering Support by Aleodeology
  12. Fast Train Moving by Closely by Audio Historians

As you can see, I release a lot of recordings under pseudonyms.

What can I say about 2021? It was a good year for my creativity, but I couldn’t enjoy it. And it wasn’t one thing. It’s not even the obvious.

The “muse”, or whatever, didn’t disappear, and so I consider myself lucky. It seemed to hang out and pushed me along. I got a lot done. And it was the only way to get through. The only rule is work.


For my 2021 year end review, here are 5 second snippets of 12 tracks I made throughout the year. It’s an eclectic set of music and sounds, arranged chronologically. All of these happen to be Disquiet Junto tracks, as it seems I needed prompts to make music this year. Hopefully the muse will be a little more freeform in 2022!

Pulp Writer
With Apologies to J.S.Bach
modus mechanica
Warp Bugz
The Three of Us
Los Muertos
Goose Café
Pachelbel’s Cannon


I wanted to do a particular thing since I’m working away from home and have only a small amount of time, so I’m skirting several of the rules, please forgive.

I took two pieces from early this year, one is a piece “Noise Gradient - disquiet 0463” I’ve been working with all year on another project and the other is a sketch I recorded from my modular. I created some loops from that second piece and mixed those against a radically shortened version of the first piece. In many ways this piece works as a stand-in for a more literal sonic diary. All the work was done in Pro Tools using a variety of plug-ins for design and mastering.

2021 largely had me working at the service of a big project for a beloved colleague. 2022 will allow me much more time for personal projects, which I am eager to do, including joining into the disquiet junto more often.


What a year. Took one element from one of the tracks from each month. Pitched some up and down, similar tempos and then mixed together. Image is a composite of some photos I took at an expo in Paris about hip-hop.


Extracts from:
Ray_cobley – A-january-blast-naviarhaiku368
Ray_cobley – Soundswarm-disquiet0478
Ray_cobley – Chronos-disquiet0481
Ray_cobley – Alien-earth-disquiet0486
Ray_cobley – Selene-swims-naviarhaiku385
Ray_cobley – Kintsugi-patch-disquiet0492
Ray_cobley – Inch-by-inch-disquiet0496
Ray_cobley – Homer-mix-disquiet0503
Ray_cobley – Set-free-naviarhaiku401
Ray_cobley – Damp-autumn-naviarhaiku405
Ray_cobley – Waiting-disquiet0515
Ray_cobley – Echoes-of-wartime-naviarhaiku414

A Happy New Year to all!


“About two minutes of 2021” is a collage from materials I released as Eeem [eim] during 2021:

A Happy New Year to all, as much as reasonably possible!

Material from the following EPs:
[Janvier sous la Neige]
[To Ceres]
[Du Temps Qui Passe]
[Who Sailed the Stars]
[North of Ophir Chasma]